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Unattended boy, 4, survives 11-story fall

Sun., July 9, 2006

ALBANY, N.Y. – A 4-year-old boy survived a fall from an 11th-story window after being left alone at home, bouncing off a metal awning into a concrete courtyard and then trying to stand up, officials said. He was able to chat with doctors.

“I’m amazed the kid’s alive,” Police Chief James Tuffey said.

Hasim Townsend remained in serious condition Saturday, a day after his fall, with a broken skull, a broken leg and other injuries.

“It’s an incredibly good sign that he was talking, and I can’t attribute it to anything other than good luck,” said Dr. Michael Dailey, an attending physician in the emergency department.

The boy ended up in the same pediatric intensive care unit at Albany Medical Center where his mother works as a receptionist, police reports said.

Elizabeth Burciaga, 21, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She initially told police the boy had been left with a babysitter, officials said.

The boy stood on a bed and pressed against a window screen, which gave way, police said. He hit the awning about 12 feet off the ground, and it flexed and saved him. Police came after residents heard him crying.


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